So what’s the brouhahah all about this time. I miss attending an event and exciting stuff happens at the event. You guys may remember the event I was supposed to attend last week — Third Thursday, run by Mike Manuel and Chris Heuer.
Apparently, Chris had a rountable discussion going and Stowe Boyd took exception to their definition of what’s called a “social media press release”. Here’s Stowe:
For those who have missed the idea, a social media press release is supposed to be a webbish/bloggish version of old timey press releases. These will incorporate elements of the now commonplance blog motif: links, tags, comments, and trackbacks, for example.
This all begs the question (which I raised early on in the evening): Why not just use blogs? Why do we need these so-called “social” press releases?
Scoble chimes in:
He’s right. I hate that idea too. Just give us a damn demo of your product and tell us about it.
Well, Shel Holtz who was on the panel retaliates:
Most people I talk to outside of my work (neighbors, family, people I see at my religious institution) don’t even read blogs, no less understand what RSS is. At the Third Thursday event, Chris Heuer asked who among the attendees didn’t know what RSS was. The bartender raised his hand.
The numbers are higher among journalists, but still low overall. To suggest that a company can officially, fairly, and consistently deliver the message concurrently to all audiences by posting it to a blog is, frankly, absurd.
My Take – the reinvention of PR: Well, I respect all of the above bloggers, but c’mon guys let’s take a chill pill now, shall we? To me, it seems like all this debate has an undercurrent of the “Survival of the Publicists” theme as outlined by Shel & Scoble in Naked Conversations. The Social Media Press Release seems to be a step in reinventing the Public Relations Universe. I get it.
However, if PR is “The art of managing communication between an organization and its key publics to build, manage and sustain a positive image.”, while Social Media is defined as “the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other”, many of which are negative!!!
What does a “social media press release” mean? Is that still the same old press release in the garb of genuine social media generated by people. And, that’s where Stowe Boyd, in my opinion, takes umbrage.
Holtz in his summary, makes a ton of valid points, like why you can’t use blogs as press releases and their relative importance. However, one of the points he kept reiterating is that non-PR guys shouldn’t meddle w/ PR affairs:
To insist that the profession use a tool one way or another—or to abandon it altogether—is no different than me telling NASA engineers which tools to use to build their next-generation spacecraft.
Point taken. However, applying lipstick to a press release doesn’t make it a “social media press release”. And, that’s just my humble opinion.